Life with Cancer, yoga
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Bedtime Rituals…10 minute Yoga & Cultivating Gratitude for the Day…

It’s a ritual I began after my cancer diagnosis. Faced with the fear of dying I suddenly became overwhelmingly grateful for the life I had, albeit with a life threatening disease. I’m now approaching 2 years all clear, but the ritual of gratitude at the end of the day (and sometimes intermittently throughout the day) has stayed with me.

It was a struggle at first, thinking of something to be grateful for amidst the pain and uncertainty of life. I settled on the cosy socks I owned. Fluffy, warm, comforting. I’ve always loved a good pair of socks and as the gratitude for socks began to flow it opened my mind to just about every other aspect of my life which offered this comfort. A warm bath, a moment with a cup of tea, a hug with my husband or children. I began to focus on my home, my bed, our heating and hot running water. Having enough food to eat, the friends and family around us…

After a little while practicing it occurred to me that I’d never fully appreciated the body that I’m in. The immense work it does to process, move, touch, taste, feel, grow, renew… My mind was blown as I looked at my toes and realised for the first time that I loved them, truly deeply, loved them… and my legs! Wow… each part of me was alive and here just for me to experience the world from within…

This is when my yoga practice really began to change for the better. No longer a practice in strengthening, lengthening, toning and burning calories for aesthetic gain, or to conform to a cultural ideal, but a practice in connecting with myself. Bringing awe to the movement i took, connecting the breath with movement. Appreciating and experimenting with who and how I was and all the time feeling respectful and deeply deeply grateful for the gift of life and the discipline of yoga practice which was keeping me connected…

So here’s a little bedtime ritual for you – a short practice in connecting with the breath, cultivating gratitude and moving gently to prepare you for a deep and restful sleep.

Good night yogis….

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